Diary of Sacred Sites of Scotland Tour – June 2011

Diary of Sacred Sites of Scotland Tour – June 2011

Day 1 – Cairnoly, Torhouse Stone Circle and Drumtrodden.

As our group gathered and departed Glasgow Airport on Sunday morning, we headed for Isle of Whithorn, stopping at a beautiful tea room called The Stables along the way to feast on everything from soup and salads to scones, cream and jam plus of course wonderful homemade coffee cake.

As our journey continued down the road another 10 miles we entered our first site of the day Cairnholy, with its standing stones and two cairns. Here we had a wonderful experience at this site of ancient wisdom and knowledge, feeling the energy as we entered the site. Here we meditated and communed with the energy of the site and its holy purpose.

From there we moved to the wonderful Torhouse Stone Circle. Marianne asked me what the site was about. I would only tell her that it was magical and nothing more, sometimes I prefer that people experience the site before I tell them about it. She came back and had experienced, along with a few others a profound sense of femininity.  I went on to explain that I felt that this site was a place of the Druid Goddess, a temple of the vestal virgins. Here we spent some time in ceremony and aligning ourselves with the satellite sites in close proximity. The ladies really loved the energy of the stones on this site as they felt warm and inviting to the touch and we could all feel the energy emanating from them.

One more stop for the day was the standing stones of Drumtrodden.  Here again wonderful inviting experiences were had by all as they lay against the stones, feeling their energies.

Now with the day coming to a close we head for our hotel on the Isle of Whithorn, having settled into our hotel we again departed for dinner in a wonderful local restaurant, The Steam Packet Inn, after which some departed for the hotel and sleep while others chose to walk along the sea front.

Day 2 – St. Ninian’s Church and Cave and Isle of Arran:

Following a nice breakfast we were off for our first visit of the day, St. Ninian’s church.  While there Milena peered out through the stone framed window and saw the striking view of the sea. She said it made her feel the connection of the God within and the rising sun, like the sun behind the sun.  It was such a beautiful image of God and light.

Next to St. Ninian’s Cave, we walked through the forest to the stone beach and then a short distance to the cave.  Glenda, like many others before her carved the names of her loved ones that she desired to be remembered.  It was requested that I do a short prayer. I think it was clear to everyone that St Ninian’s intentions to pass on the teachings of Jesus were pure. Melissa sang to us as we walked back to the bus.

From there we traveled to Ardrossan to catch the ferry to the Isle of Arran. Upon arrival we checked into our lovely hotel in Kildonan and once settled some folks went for a walk along the sea shore before dinner. We had a wonderful dinner with a wide variety of gourmet food in a lovely restaurant at a table surrounded by glass windows. The view included a rocky coast line and a green grass covered island with a lighthouse. Taking in the local flavor of the country, some of the group went on to listen to folk music in the hotel bar. Roz said it was the kind of music that most everyone sang along with and they used instruments from the seventeen hundreds.  What a sweet way to bring our second day to a close.

Day 3 – A full day of Sacred Sites and Stone Circles

Today we started our day with a short boat trip to the beautiful Holy Island in Lamlash Bay. Upon arrival we were met by wild ponies and sheep. We walked the beautiful pathway along the shore feeling the sea breeze and listening to the sound of the water and sea gulls.

About a mile along the path we came to St. Maloise Holy Well where we experienced a water initiation and we held a healing ceremony as some people soaked their feet in the cool flowing water and felt revitalized by the experience.

We continued down the path viewing the different Buddhist murals on large rock formations, each bringing their own message and experience. On our way back along the path we again stopped at the well to find that we were being observed by two white wild goats. From there we went to the Buddhist visitor center for tea and visited their magnificent garden. Some of the group walked the shoreline and found jelly fish on the shore.

Traveling back by boat to Arran we had lunch at the tea rooms before setting off on our afternoon adventure.

In the afternoon, we traveled to the sacred site of Machrie Moor which consists of eight different temples, where again I asked the group to feel their own experiences about the site and then we would discuss it. The first site is a cairn.  Here everyone felt so at peace and Melina said all she wanted to do was lie down on the grass and go to sleep and allow the spirits to enter her dreams.

At the next site we encountered Roz and Melina experienced a guardian who protected the whole complex.  From there we moved to a stone circle where everyone, especially Melina, had an experience with the Goddess where she felt totally protected and nurtured, and then we moved to another circle where we experienced healing on an emotional level.  Here Glenda and Melissa felt that they were being allowed to let go of certain emotional issues in their lives.

Then we visited a very tall standing stone who told me, personally, he was the keeper of wisdom for the site and that the stones were now about to release secrets held through the ages and that these secrets will be released when I visit again in 2012.  Our next stop was at a group of very tall standing stones which was an initiation temple here.  Roz, Melina and Glenda all got the same message about ritual and initiations.  Then we were on to the last two remaining stone circles, very close together, where again Roz, Melina and Glenda got the same information about the sites.  They saw that the first circle was about teaching the young, up to age seven, where they had their first initiation and then they moved to the second circle to continue their education.

The entire day was beautiful and sunny, topped off with a wonderful pub dinner at Lagg Hotel.

Day 4 – Kilmartin Cairn, Standing Stones and Fairy Dwelling

Our Fourth day started as we said goodbye to the Isle of Arran and took a ferry to Claonaig on the mainland and then made our way to Kilmartin.

In Kilmartin we visited four sites of this vast complex which runs for miles. First we spent some time at Temple Wood Stone Circle.  My sense of this site is that it is an ascension point, like an expressway to the afterlife, and some in the group confirmed that this also was their experience.

We then moved to a major cairn that at least 10 people could fit into.  Here Melina and Roz connected to the wisdom of the past, bringing to their awareness the importance of being.  Then we moved to the standing stones which formed a major energy lay line and we took turns standing between the two stones that stood like goal posts at the southern and northern end of the site, feeling their power.

Last we went to a site where most people were drawn to a particular tree. The tree looked like a perfect home for a fairy and there were little flowers set down by the base of the tree like an offering to the fairy.

We finished our day by traveling to Oban to catch the ferry to Mull where after dinner we went to experience the lunar eclipse, but alas clouds rolled in and visibility of the moon was not possible.  However, the significance of the lunar was not lost. We all felt and connected to the powerful energy.  Afterwards we gathered in the lounge and a shared our experiences of the day.

Day 5  – Iona, Cradle of Celtic Spirituality

Once one arrived on Iona everyone could feel a sense of serenity. Iona has been considered the cradle of Celtic Christianity/Spirituality for almost two thousand years. Milena,Marianne, Roz and Melissa were snapping pictures rapidly as we walked through the streets. This was sacred ground.

Our first stop was the Saint Columba Abbey. Saint Columba was the founder of the abby and started the Celtic community in Iona. First we paused at the Celtic crosses outside the main door of the abbey and also paused to take in the energy of the holy well. Once inside the abbey all of us became very quiet as we slowly worked our way up towards the altar. As each one reached the altar I positioned them at a point where I felt they would connect with the energy of the abbey. I then took each one to the side meditation space and again positioned them in a space that I felt would allow them to receive their own message. Then it was my turn; I stood in the spot where I have received messages since 2007.

Here’s the message I recieved:

In 2012 we are entering a time of Ascension and its energy will peak Spring Equinox 2013 and I have been asked to bring a group to Iona for that date.

We will have gone from Transparency 2008, Compassion 2009, Balance 2010, Resurrection 2011 and finally to Ascension. Now it is for me to bring a group to Iona for Spring Equinox 2013 to participate in the new dispensation enfolding the earth at that time.

Having finished our adventure at the abbey we moved on to the Nunnery, experienced the Sheela na gig.  The sheela na gig is a unique fertility symbol and the group noted that it was rare to find such a symbol and believed that it was about birthing the Christ consciousness within themselves.

In the afternoon we took a boat to Staffa and saw seals and many birds including puffins. When we arrived at Staffa our boatman informed us that the swells were so great that he was not sure if he could put us ashore. After studying the swell, he told us he would put us ashore for 30 minutes max. It was just enough time to see Fingal’s Cave. It was most awesome with huge waves coming into the cave and crashing against the walls. Most of the people in our group were a bit nervous with going back into the cave with its sheer cliffs. Many pictures were taken and Melissa took a picture that had beautiful spiral configurations in it.

We finished our day on Iona with a delightful dinner. Many of us tried a common Scottish dessert called sticky toffee pudding.  mmmmmmm

Day 6 – The Fairy Kingdom near Uig

We departed Mull on the early morning ferry taking us back to Oban on the mainland. The ferry rides have been relaxing for us all with comfortable seats and a nice selection of snacks and tea. As well, the views were lovely.

Back on the mainland we had a drive through the highlands of Scotland where there was a lough (or loch) on one side or the other the whole drive. Melissa said that it looked like a place where the Loughness (aka Loch Ness) Monster would be.

We stopped at Eilean Donan Castle where we had a self guided tour and lunch at the visitors center. Then the group enjoyed some shopping in the gift store. Along our drive, we experience a brief moment of pure joy as we stopped to take photos right at the peak of the bridge to Skye with its magnificent view.  Then on to Uig to settle into the hotel. The group was eager to get going to a place that the locals refer to as “The Fairy Kingdom”. This is like no other place I have been to and as with all groups I have brought here, they were awe struck. The landscape is uniquely shaped like a kingdom, with ‘castle-like’ rocks and scalloped lush green mounds. The landscape is very unique and covers approximately a five mile radius. There were caves we explored and a labyrinth that someone made.  Most significant, was the feeling of joy that was obviously felt by all in the group. And as a special gift we were shown a beautiful rainbow over this most precious land. We finished our day with a gourmet dinner in Uig.

Day 7 – Callanish Stones, the “Stonehenge of Scotland”

This morning we caught the ferry from Uig to Tarbert on the Isle of Lewis, a two-hour ferry ride and then another hour drive to the magical lunar temple known as Callanish.

This land is different than what we have seen; mostly rocky mountains and heather covered bogs. Many refer to Callanish as the “Stonehenge” of Scotland. I have never seen such an orchestration, as all the people seemed to disappear so that we could gather in the center and hold hands in a circle for a most powerful prayer. There wasn’t a single person in our group that was not profoundly affected by this sight. Some seeing pictures in the rocks:  faces, priests, etc.  Melissa felt moved to sing softly. Marianne sat with the rocks in silence and it was obvious that there was a moment of complete transformation for her.

After all my experience of taking people to sacred sites, I can see when people are going through things and everyone in our group was moved in some way. Melena’s face looked blank for several hours, as she was integrating whatever had been gifted to her. I also had time to take my sacred essential oil out and do a blessing.  Then Marianne did one for me.

We enjoyed a lunch at the cafe and some people shopped for postcards and gifts.  Marianne bought a scarf knitted locally, Melina bought a stone that was from the Callanish sight.

Then we were off again to Standing Stones Circle Two . We were met by a farm pig that was a bit in the way of the gate. Marianne made friends with the pig and lured him out of the way. From this sight you can see that it is in line with Callanish and offers a splendid view of the landscape.

Then we went to Standing Stones Circle Three where we encountered stones known as the three sisters.  One stone has a green hue, one red and one gray.  They are also known as the triple goddess. Here again Melina and Roz had some amazing experiences as they received personal messages, and Melissa and Sandra were drawn to a ceremonial area, as was Marianne. It was just great to see each person in the group connect with the stones and receive their own personal message and experience.

Our day was complete as we drove to Stornoway to overnight and have a delightful dinner at the Boat Shed Restaurant.  Again, an end to a very beautiful day. By the way we all got a little sun burnt today as the weather was just magnificient.

Day 8 – St. Columba and the Templars

We had a peaceful morning in Stonoway, on the Isle of Lewis, with a late breakfast and then a walk around the town, then headed about 3 miles out of town to an ancient church St. Columba with its Templar connections and gravestones right on the seashore.

Malina went gem hunting on the shore with Sandra while Milessa was taking several photos before we headed back into town to catch our 3-hour ferry ride to Ulapool.  Upon arriving we took to the highway for an hour to our hotel in Inverness.  Feeling relaxed, we had a quiet evening and some of the group rested, while others read.

Day 9 – Clava Cairns and Findhorn Ecovillage

Our day started by visiting Culloden Battlefield Memorial Site and Visitors Center. The group walked the site and learned a little about Wallace while I and Marianne enjoyed a cup of tea and some shopping at the visitors center.

Next we visited Clava Cairns, a very special site with standing stones and some amazing trees. This site is aligned to mid-winter with its many stone circles and two cairns plus a center circle with its eight spokes of the wheel of life.  Malina and Roz felt this site was very much about birth and moving between the veils. Everyone loved the trees in the grove surrounding this site.

In the afternoon we visited the spiritual community at Findhorn Ecovillage, one of the largest and best known intentional communities in the UK.  Although we were unable to walk through the gardens, due to construction activities, we walked the grounds. For lunch we dined at the village cafe which had locally grown vegetables and organic foods and then we all shopped at the village store. Marianne felt strongly inclined to purchase a flower essence grown at Findhorn.  For the night, we arrived in the small village of Weem and enjoyed a very lovely dinner in our hotel.

Day 10 – Mysteries of Fortingall, the Hermit’s Cave and Summer Solstice

This morning we met with Theresa and Barry Dunford, author of http://www.sacredconnections.co.uk

Barry took us to the church in Fortingall where he gave us the history of the area. Fortingall is a very famous place in that it is the birth place of Pontius Pilatus, known in the English-speaking world as Pontius Pilate and is also the home to a five thousand year old yew tree (the oldest tree in Europe). This is a very magical tree and I thought Roz, Malina and Marianne were going to time travel as they experienced the tree. Barry indicated that the tree likely started out at the center of a Druid community and would have been conspired as a sacred tree.

We then visited the sacred valley of Glenlyon, the Roman Bridge and ancient church dedicated to Saint Andrew.

Later we visited the Hermits Cave which has 13 seats inside the cave. At the far end of the cave is a most picturesque view of a waterfall. From there we explored a magical glen surrounded by waterfalls, a magnificent river and trees. Marianne and Glenda caught several orbs in their photos in this area.  We returned to our hotel and went out to a local restaurant for a great Scottish dinner.

That night the group gathered together with a glass of locally made wine for our summer solstice meditation.

Day 11 – St. Mary’s Grail Chapel and Croft Moraig, the Field of Mary

We continued to explore with Barry, visiting St Mary’s Grail Chapel with its heraldic mural painted on a barrel roof ceiling, filled with hidden symbolism. Then we went onto Croft Moraig (Field of Mary) which has a magnificent triple stone circle.  We stayed there for quite some time, most of the group did not want to leave. Barry said that the energy of the circle was heightened due to summer solstice. Marianne, Malina and Roz sat with the stones for a long time. It felt right to join in a circle in the center before we left to do a short meditation.

Day 12 – Rosslyn Chapel and Glen

Departing Fortingall that morning we headed for Rosslyn Chapel.  Due to its age, Rosslyn is undergoing extensive refurbishment, which seems to be moving along at a steady pace. Despite the many visitors to the chapel and the construction going on we were still able to visit the crypt and experience the original intent of the church and its vortex.  Rosslyn is another place with mysterious Celtic and Templar symbolism throughout and it is easy to lose oneself in it all.  Malina, Glenda and Roz had a very nice heart chakra experience when they stood quietly gazing at the stained glass window.

After spending time in the Chapel we headed down to the castle lived in by the St Claires. It was their family that built the church 500 years ago.  The castle is surrounded by a pristine natural glen and we decided to take a walk in the woods.

With our time completed in Rosslyn we drove to our hotel Glasgow for our last night together.  For our farewell dinner we went to a contemporary Italian gourmet restaurant where we shared some good memories about the journey. The service and food were excellent and it made a nice ending to our time together.

Blessings, love and peace,